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Letter to the Editor: Devastating news

letter to the editor
letter to the editor

The news that Corner Brook ophthalmologist Dr. French may be leaving due to rejection by the Province of his application to operate a facility for eye care and surgery was devastating to me.

Dr. French’s efforts to establish an eye-care and surgery facility in Corner Brook, outside the Western Memorial Regional Hospital, are due to the limited shared operating times available in the WM Hospital and the resulting long waiting times for eye surgery and are an attempt to improve eye care in Western Newfoundland.

It is my understanding that the proposed eye-care facility would operate under the provincial Medical Care Plan and there would be no charges for patient services other than those presently in effect at the WMR Hospital. The proposed facility would allow surgery to be performed on a full-time basis, with this service available to a greater number of patients than is now possible, with no increase in cost to the patient and with shorter patient surgery wait times.

I am a senior citizen with age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma discovered and being treated by Dr. French who has also surgically removed cataracts from each eye and, with lens implants, restored my vision to the point where I now need glasses only for reading fine print. I bless the day that I was referred to him as a patient. At that time, he told me that there would be no charge to me for any services that I might need. That has been the case.

Dr. French has established a reputation in Corner Brook for eye care second to none and in my opinion his leaving would downgrade eye care in Western Newfoundland and I therefore call on Western Newfoundland politicians and the Minister of Health to act to retain the services of this valuable ophthalmologist.

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